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Exit, Stage Left

14 January 2013 No Comment

thats all folks

I am writing this as we ramp up for Convening Leaders. Byy the time you read this, I will have already been on stage at least once in Orlando. Hope I’m not too boring!

I really wasn’t planning on writing a last blog post, but as I have talked/emailed/Tweeted with lots of members this week, the blog was a constant question. Some of you wanted to know if I would continue writing. My answer is that this is the Chairman’s Blog, and I will no longer be the Chairman, so you have to nag Johnnie now!

The truth is that this has been one of the things that I have enjoyed the most. The ability for me to put my rambling thoughts out there for all to see and the fact that those thoughts resonated with so many of you has been a thrill for me.

Over the last 15 years, I have been a volunteer on all levels of PCMA, starting with a chapter committee and ending up here. To serve as Chairman was never one of my goals. In fact I am in this position by the grace of others, who saw something more in me than I may have seen in myself. It is only through the time, dedication and hard work of volunteers at all levels that we continue to make great strides that move our industry and community forward. To all of you who make that commitment – - be it an hour, a month or a year as Chair —  I thank you.

It has been an entire year since I stood on stage in San Diego and received the mallet (a.k.a. sledgehammer) from Susan Katz. That afternoon I made several promises to YOU, the membership, and this great organization has delivered on all of them. I am very proud of the accomplishments that your Board of Directors and the entire PCMA staff have made happen. Ultimately, it is the member organizations that will benefit from your exposure to innovative experiences and education, which is something that has not always been available to our community.

Hopefully, you have had an opportunity to look at the new web and mobile site, an enormous project that has kept the staff working tirelessly through the holidays and continues today. Make sure you check out the Catalyst tool, a big part of this new site. Also, take a moment to thank staff for their tireless work through the holiday season, as many of them have worked straight through December entirely.

Be on the lookout for some new branding language, which will help define who we are and what we do to a much broader audience. And, at the chapter level, a new registration tool will allow much greater tracking of member information, something that has been needed for some time. These are just a few of the results that we have worked toward this year. Stay tuned for more as we continue to push ahead!

This is such a strong  community comprised of true professionals, and it has been my honor to serve in this role. The ability to have met so many of you one- on-one has been a real treat for me. Those individual discussions have helped shape the way forward for the association and for me. Unfortunately, due to conflicts with my paying job and family commitments, I was not able to make it to all of the chapters this year, but Johnnie has already started where I left off. I leave you in very capable hands.

As I move into the Immediate Past Chair (read: Out to Pasture Chair) seat, I find myself hoping that I have done all that I could over the last 12 months to affect some positive lasting change for both PCMA and the entire membership. My employer and my staff are both just hoping that I will now get back to work! Know that I will still be around and I continue to have some responsibilities to fulfill for the next year and a half, so I am not riding off into the sunset!

Alas, all good things usually come to an end, so it is bittersweet that I close my final blog by thanking YOU for your comments, thoughts, support, guidance, and challenges throughout this great year.

It’s been GR8!!!

Kent E. Allaway, CEM, CMP, Chairman of the Board
Vice President, Meetings and Trade Shows
Produce Marketing Association
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